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Fri, Aug 23, 2019

Westpac Little Ripper Partners With Amazon Web Services

Provides Near-Real-Time Video Streaming Via The Cloud

Westpac Little Ripper drones has teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to produce what is hoped to be the world’s lowest latency video stream via a drone. The companies have been working together for the last 6 months to reduce the latency.

On Wednesday, August 21 at 12.30pm a live video stream from a Westpac Little Ripper Drone flying off Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast took place. The live video stream from the Westpac Little Ripper drone went onto the big screen at a major conference being staged by Amazon Web Services in Canberra, almost 700 miles away.

AWS, an Amazon.com company, hosted its 7th annual Public Sector Summit in Canberra, showcasing how the latest technology is helping to solve social challenges and transform government agencies. More than 1,200 attendees from the healthcare, education, research, not-for-profit, and space and science sectors visited Canberra’s National Convention Center, making it one of Australia’s largest government and technology conferences.

Video streaming latency (delay) via the cloud can be anything from 8 seconds to 10 seconds. The Ripper Group worked with AWS to put their world renowned SharkSpotter AI capability in the cloud. This has been done so the video transmission can be processed by cloud analytics, putting a 93% accuracy of marine life detection over the video stream instead of 12-17% accuracy of detection from the standard human eye.

So in layman’s terms, for the Westpac Little Ripper Search and Rescue drones flying over beaches, this delay from the onboard camera on the drone to the pilot’s screen on the ground, can mean the difference between life and death.

When a Westpac Little Ripper drone is flying and its onboard video running AI picks up a shark, the delay from the video camera can be 8-10 seconds via standard cloud analytics and live streaming. With the drone covering a distance of 150 meters (approx. 500 feet) in 10 seconds, and by the time the pilot on the ground sees the image on the screen via standard cloud analytics, the drone is that far away from the area. If a shark is close to a surfer, or there is a swimmer in distress, by the time the drone flies around to alert the surfer or drop an inflatable pod to a swimmer in trouble, it may be too late.

This significant reduction in latency means the pilot sees what the video captures via AI in the cloud almost immediately. At the conference, the Ripper Group released at its TRG AI app that will be available commercially.

"AWS is excited to be supporting The Ripper Group in their mission to save lives and protect Australian marine life. Emerging technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have enabled The Ripper Group to innovate new ways to help save lives," said Simon Elisha, Head of Solution Architecture, ANZ Public Sector, Amazon Web Services. "Organizations in Australia and around the world continues to leverage the breadth and depth of AWS Cloud services to deliver more timely citizen services, and address some of the biggest community issues in Australia and the world.”

In addition, The Ripper Group’s technology partner, UTS (University of Technology – Sydney) has developed SharkSpotter, a world-first AI-based technology for detecting Sharks in the ocean from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The software was developed in collaboration The Ripper Group, to protect beachgoers and to save lives. It has been deployed at 14 beaches in Australia (including within New South Wales and Queensland). SharkSpotter has attracted numerous industry awards, including recent recognition at the National iAwards for the 2018 AI or Machine Learning Innovation of the Year.

The Westpac Little Ripper made world headlines when one of its specialized drones successfully undertook the world’s first rescue by a drone. In January 2018, a Westpac Little Ripper rescued two boys in dangerous surf at Lennox Head by dropping a one of its unique inflatable pods to the boys. The rescue took 70 seconds from start to finish.

Westpac Little Ripper are the official drone partner Westpac Rescue.

(Images provided with Westpac news release and from file)

FMI: therippergroup.com

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